As businesses begin to reopen just in time for summer customers are anxious to get back out and return to shopping in person. A recent poll shows that once COVID restrictions have been lifted 43% of consumers are more likely to shop in person, compared to 24% who say they are more likely to shop online alone. With this in mind it is a perfect time for companies to review their digital marketing strategy and see what they are doing organically and through paid channels to attract these eager shoppers. In this article we will review tips and best practices for advertising locally with Google search that will make a business stand out from the rest.
When choosing locations to target it can very quickly get out of hand since there really is no limit to what Google will let you target. For most businesses it is best to target a radius around their physical location or specific areas where they service customers. This can also depend on competition. Some questions a company might want to ask when choosing a target area are:
- Am I the only business like mine in my area or are there multiple competitors in close proximity to my location?
- What is a reasonable distance a customer would travel to visit my store?
- What are the areas where my core customers live?
Answering these questions are a good starting point when choosing locations to start targeting.
It is best to start smaller and grow rather than targeting too much too quickly. An analogy for this is frosting a cake. If a company’s budget is the frosting and the cake is their target area, it is important to make sure there is enough frosting to cover the entire cake to make sure it looks and tastes great! The last thing anyone wants is to run out of frosting halfway when decorating a cake.
Lastly, depending on the business type, consider changing the location target setting from presence or interest to just presence. This will give businesses more control over where their ads show and focuses on customers in the selected target area.
When choosing keywords for a locally focused search campaign be sure to include search terms that focus on location based searches. This could include terms like “coffee shops in Portland” or “antique stores near me.” Targeting these types of keywords gives much more control and granular data over keywords. This can also help when using dynamic keyword insertion for Responsive Search Ads. Another helpful tip when selecting locally focused keywords is to use local terminology. For instance, does the area or neighborhood your business is in have a nickname? Is a product you sell known by a different name in your area? Advertisers should try these terms as well.
Having a carefully crafted ad copy can make or break how search advertising performs. Creating personalized ads that speak directly to a local audience will increase click volume and help drive engagement on site. If a business in the heart of downtown or in a recognizable area they should highlight that area out in the ad copy. If an advertiser is writing ads for a restaurant in the heat of summer they might want to invite people to cooldown with a refreshing smoothie at their establishment. Businesses should be looking for things like this to include in their ad text! Unique, specific ad copy will set ads apart from others appearing on the same search terms.
Another best practice is to include the city or area the business is located in the ad copy to let people know where they can expect to find it. This can also help with ad relevance when someone is looking for a business in a specific city.
When applicable, it is important to advertise and sales or special promotions that are coming up. This will prompt users to click on the ad, as it is likely going to give them a good deal. This is a good opportunity to use a countdown ad customizer as it will create a sense of urgency with the promotion.
Extensions are fantastic because they can give customers much more information about a company while also covering more real estate on the search engine results page. Here are 4 extensions that would be useful in implementing specifically for driving local traffic:
- Location Extension – To use this extension it is required to link a Google My Business to a Google Ads account. Using this extension will allow a business’s address to be displayed on their ad and give customers and idea of how far away the business is from their location. Among the number of other benefits of having this extension companies can also be eligible to track store visits from customers that have interacted with the ad.
- Call Extension – These extensions display a business phone number on an ad and enables users on mobile devices to call the business with the simple click of a button. This makes it easy for customers to reach out and inquire about business services or products. These extensions when implemented properly can track call duration, specific phone numbers that called the store, & in some cases listen to a recording of the calls that came in through these ads.
- Callout Extension – The callout extension is great for showing short highlights of a business in the ad. Do they offer same day service? Is the business family friendly? Do they have years of experience? The callout extension is the perfect place to spotlight the things that makes a business unique.
- Promotion Extensions – Similar to including promotion details in your ad copy, promotion extensions make it easy for businesses to call out special sales or offers on the items they advertise. Businesses can display a monetary or percentage discount on the extension and link to online inventory pages or other pages, such as sales flyers, on their site.
By implementing some or all of these strategies to a Google Ads account you are setting your business up to perform and standout at the local level. If your business needs help with advertising locally or nationally feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help. Stay tuned for a part two of this article where will we go beyond Google search advertising to promote a local business.